Hofstra University Continuing Education

Executive Education Faculty



Associate Professor of Psychology

Terri Shapiro earned her Ph.D. in Applied Research and Evaluation in Psychology from Hofstra University where she is currently an Associate Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. From 2013-2015 she served as Associate Provost for Accreditation and Outcomes Assessment and from 2015 to 2020 she served as Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Hofstra. As the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs she worked closely with the Provost to plan and develop academic programs, initiatives, and budgets, to support the University’s short and long-term strategic goals, and institutional mission. She provided leadership, and leadership development, across the university including shared governance, relations with the AAUP, participated in administrative decision making, and built relationships with faculty, chairs, deans, vice provosts, and other Academic and Administrative units across the University. Dr. Shapiro oversaw Faculty Affairs, including Faculty Development, a Leadership Development program, technology and online learning initiatives, and Faculty Research, Education and Development (FRED) seminars and workshops, application of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Faculty Policy Series, Faculty Statutes and all other processes that involve faculty. She also was responsible for leading the University’s institution-wide Assessment and Accreditation, managing, reviewing and supporting the accrediting process for institutional and program-level accreditations, including 32 specialized accreditations. She coordinated and supported the University’s academic outcomes assessment program, which included the assessment of student outcomes in both general education and the program or major. She also played a key role in the University’s recent, and very successful, Middle States institutional accreditation process.

Dr. Shapiro has also been a consultant to organizations on Leadership Development, the customer experience, service quality and survey and sampling. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in leadership, research methods, industrial and organizational psychology, consumer psychology at Hofstra and has also taught courses in Leadership, Organizational Development, and Research Methods for the Baruch College Executive MBA Program in Singapore and Taiwan.



Professor of Psychology

Comila Shahani-Denning, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University. She has been deeply involved with both the M.A. and doctoral programs since their inception at Hofstra University (1993 for the M.A. and 2004 for the doctoral). Her research expertise lies in the domain of employee selection as it is impacted (enhanced, hindered) by social media, with a particular focus on LinkedIn. Comila and colleagues have since completed further research expanding upon this issue, including several experimental studies examining recruiter perceptions of applicant profiles on LinkedIn. Comila serves on the Executive Board of METRO (Metropolitan Association for Applied Psychologists) and also serves on the Executive Board of COSI (Community of Organizational Sciences in India). Comila teaches in the M. A. and doctoral program. She teaches Research Methods, Industrial Psychology, Personnel Selection, and the Internship Course. She has served as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Renmin University, Beijing where she has taught Industrial Psychology. Comila has also been consulting to organizations for over 20 years. Dr. Shahani- Denning has provided consulting services to a wide variety of organizations, including: APT Metrics, Prometric, AT&T, Case Corporation, Long Island Board of Realtors, Mineola Youth and Family Services, Pass & Seymour, Rx Maxwell, St. Francis Hospital, and Thomas Cook, among others. Services include the facilitation and implementation of leadership development programs, test development, the assessment and evaluation of sales professionals, and the implementation of self-managed teams.

Kara Alaimo


Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations

Kara Alaimo, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations. Dr. Alaimo teaches in Hofstra University's graduate and undergraduate public relations programs and coordinates Hofstra’s online Master of Arts in Public Relations program with a concentration in Reputation and Crisis Management. She is a specialist in international and political/advocacy communication.

From 2012-2013, Dr. Alaimo was Head of Communications for the United Nations Secretary-General's High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, a group of heads of state and other eminent thinkers convened to recommend the world's next plan for eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development. In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama as Spokesperson for International Affairs in the U.S. Treasury Department, where she communicated global economic diplomacy initiatives, including America's bilateral economic relationships; engagement in multilateral institutions including the G-20, World Bank, and IMF; and international monetary, trade, development, environmental, and energy policy. In this capacity, she also served as media adviser to Jim Yong Kim during his successful 2012 campaign for the World Bank Presidency. Dr. Alaimo also previously served as the first Press Secretary of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Global Media Coordinator for the United Nations Millennium Campaign, and as a spokesperson for New York City economic development initiatives during the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Dr. Alaimo continues to serve as an independent communications consultant. In 2017, she received the Titan of the Future award at the World Communication Forum gala in Geneva and was named one of the 50 “game-changers” in the field of PR by PR News. Her book, "Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication", was published by Routledge in 2016 and the second edition was published in 2021.

Her research on international and political/advocacy public relations has also been published in academic journals including the International Journal of Communication, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Affairs, Case Studies in Strategic Communication, and Social Media & Society. She is a frequent media commentator and columnist; her op-eds have been published by media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Fortune, Columbia Journalism Review, Newsday, and TheHill.com. To read her work, follow her Twitter handle, @karaalaimo, and visit her website, www.karaalaimo.com


Associate Professor of Writing Studies & Rhetoric

Dr. Lisa M. Dresner is the author of The Female Investigator in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture (McFarland, 2007), articles about the rhetoric of popular culture and about writing pedagogy, and introductions to several gothic novels. She regularly teaches WSC 102 (Grammar for Writers) as well as other courses in the Writing Studies and Rhetoric Department. She also enjoys teaching in the NOAH program, the LGBT Studies program, the Women's Studies program, and the English Department. She is a proud trumpet player in the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps symphonic and marching bands. She is currently head of the LGBTQ+ Studies Program.


Associate Professor of Writing Studies & Rhetoric

Dr. Joseph Bartolotta is an Assistant Professor of Writing Studies and Rhetoric. He holds a PhD in Rhetoric & Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining Hofstra, Dr. Bartolotta was a Lecturer and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico, where he co-founded the Laboratory for Usability, Communication, and Information Design (LUCID) and directed the professional writing internship program. His work appears in journals like Technical Communication Quarterly and Communication Design Quarterly.


Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations

Sandra Mardenfeld is a freelance writer, editor, social media manager, marketing consultant and educator based in Long Island, New York. She has worked as the managing editor for several national magazines, as the Broadway editor of Playbill and as an editor/writer on many websites. She currently teaches in Hofstra University’s Continuing Education program and in the Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations. She also worked as an assistant professor for LIU Post, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Mercy College Writing and Editing Sandra has written for more than 50 newspapers, magazines, and websites. Her features, articles, essays, and reviews have run in such publications as Bride & Groom, Newsday, Allure, Distinction, The New York Times Book Review, Parents and Children, The Daily News, Jewelry Connoisseur, ModernBride.com, Elegant Bride, Working Woman, Time Out New York, Stagebill, The Christian Science Monitor, Entrepreneur.com, Retail Ad World, American Bookseller, Construction Equipment Guide and Good Dog. She is a freelance copy editor for the Herald newspapers.

Dr. Mardenfeld obtained her PhD in Communication and Information and Library Science, specializing in media studies, at Rutgers University. Her dissertation looked at reporter’s privilege through the perspective of the public and the practitioner using focus groups, interviews and published editorials. She received her Masters in magazine journalism at New York University and her Bachelors in journalism at The State University College of Buffalo. Dr. Mardenfeld’s review of Snow White for Show Showdown won the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists/Press Club of Long Island Award for Best Online Arts Journalism.

Her academic presentations include: Editorials, reporter’s privilege, and public perception a qualitative look on audiences’ opinions and attitudes about shield law and how to better educate student, baby-boomer, and senior populations on the issue (at the July 2011 International Association for Media and Communication Research conference in Istanbul, Turkey). Jailed journalists incarcerated for protecting sources speak out on the importance of reporters’ privilege, (at the New Jersey Communication Association, March 2007), which won the Top Graduate Student Paper Award.

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